Amy Calder speaks with local community leaders about thier hopes for 2022. Contribured photos

The economy, good health and helping those in need are just some of the topics central Maine leaders touched on when asked recently to share their hopes and goals for 2022.

It has been several years since I have written a news story or column about officials’ sentiments for the new year and I thought it was time as 2021 comes to a close, the pandemic rages on and towns and cities are working harder than ever to maintain stability and purpose.

In Waterville, City Manager Steve Daly says he hopes those in the city have a healthy and prosperous new year.

“My primary professional goal is to generate productive energy in Waterville’s economic development effort,” said Daly, who took his position a year ago.

Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey, who has been in law enforcement 43 years, 35 of which have been with Waterville and 14 as chief, focused on the need for police and community collaboration.

“One of my goals for 2022 is to continue strengthening the ties between the police and the community,” Massey said, “so that we can work together to effectively address drug addiction, mental illness, and homelessness and the devastating consequences it has for so many in our community.”

Waterville Board of Education Chairwoman Joan Phillips-Sandy shared both community and personal goals:

“My hope for Waterville Public Schools is that we will be able to hire qualified people for all the unfilled and much-needed positions,” she said. “My goal is to keep the schools open while maintaining a safe and supportive environment. On a personal note, I hope and pray for good health for everyone in my large extended family. And my goal is to have another lovely summer with my grandson.”

Winslow Town Manager Erica LaCroix said the town has seen a lot of changes in the last year, during which she and police Chief Leonard Macdaid were hired, the town launched an ambulance service and some larger businesses expanded and new ones moved to town.

“In the coming year, we hope to build on these improvements and keep the town moving forward,” LaCroix said. “We will continue to seek out public participation with events like the Coffee with the Manager series, and strengthen collaborations with our neighboring communities to build the partnerships that will allow the entire region to grow and prosper.”

LaCroix said the town looks forward to completing an updated comprehensive plan and will continue to seek ways to attract new businesses and residents and support those already in town. That means improving roads, fixing up some older neighborhoods and the Bay Street corridor, and continuing to focus on schools, parks, community services and quality affordable housing, she said.

In Fairfield, Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said her biggest goal is to find funding to expand public drinking water throughout the community so residents have constant access to clean drinking water.

“Second would be to ensure that the Shawmut Dam stays in place so that the town continues to receive the same level of revenue, the Sappi Mill continues to employ our residents and that current recreational opportunities continue,” Flewelling said. “Third, continue to ensure that the town’s staff have what they need to stay physically and mentally healthy as we enter what looks to be the third year of the pandemic. And last but not least, try to remember that taking care of myself is important.”

Like some other municipal officials, Oakland Town Manager Gari Bowman touched on the difficulties associated with the pandemic.

“As for the town of Oakland, my goals continue to be focused on moving our community forward through a relentless pandemic that seems to be holding on for the foreseeable future,” Bowman said. “Building on the quality of life that we’re known for, keeping our taxes affordable and continuing to promote responsible growth that allows us to provide quality services that Oakland has a reputation of providing.”

Augusta City Mayor David Rollins hopes for an open and safe 2022 in our communities.

”My personal goals are to transition into a new lifestyle of taking more trips, working less, staying healthy, and visiting as a family as much as we can. I hope to see a local and national trend of seeing our lifestyle getting back to a more open and safe way. Finally, hoping we unite and celebrate around the things that bind us as a people and provide for the common good.”

Others I contacted did not respond by deadline, though I’m not surprised as this has been a holiday week for many. For what it’s worth, I add my own humble wishes for 2022:

That all who are not vaccinated get their shots — and may we all experience good health and happiness in the new year.

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 33 years. Her columns appear here Saturdays. She may be reached at [email protected]. For previous Reporting Aside columns, go to centralmaine.com.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.